Hi... We Are Solar Electric.

 

Our motto is "Do Good. Electricity for All."

With your support, Solar Electric is on a mission to change the world - one sunny watt at a time.


Each solar electric system we design + build Directly Empowers -

you, your Family, your community + the world with clean affordable energy

In addition to sustainable social change, we believe passionately in travel, surfing, good food, great friends,long talks, broadened horizons + a spirit of adventure.

[We are also 100% positive the world would be a better place if everyone had free electricity.] 

Our Mission

Since 1987, our mission has been simple - To empower families + communities with affordable energy. To rise above the mundane by creating sustainable, flexible, high quality power systems for everyone.

Solar Electric, lowest prices under the sun.
— Our Founder, Michael Collins circ. 1987
 
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Our Commitment

we stand behind our work

We constantly monitor each solar power system to ensure everything’s running smoothly, and cover maintenance, repairs and insurance at no added cost in the rare event problems arise.

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Lock-in your Rates Now

save thousands for years to come

Lock in power rates lower than what you are paying now for the next 20 years. No matter your situation, we offer a variety of ways to fund your new solar system - many pay for themselves in less than 5 years and others require zero out of pocket.

 

Free Consultation

No pressure solar quote

Every solar power project starts with a free consultation and free quote. We’ll ask you a few easy questions about your home energy use and financial goals. It’s quick and easy.

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Specialties

we power anything

From 2-story, steep sloped roofs, to flat or Spanish tiles, to home energy power storage for emergency back-up power, to solar pool heating, to car ports and awnings, to ground-mount systems, our experience is unrivaled.

The Four Pillars of Sustainability

 

When we began, most of our customers were "gringos" living in beautiful baja california, mexico + other remote parts of the world without access to electricity.

We saw that many people in remote parts of the world were eeking out a living on a few dollars a month. Instead of going to school, children worked alongside their parents. The cycle of poverty and misery seemed inescapable.

We saw first-hand the positive impact that accessible and affordable electricity made to families + entire communities. We designed and installed energy storage systems for thousands all over Baja, the Carribean, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Asia and the United States.

To resolve this complex matrix of obstacles, since 1987, we have spearheaded a “Four Pillars” Approach to Sustainability

 
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Environmental Stewardship

As environmental stewards, Solar Electric protects the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices with the development  of responsible + sustainable solar power systems.

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Social Equity

With electricity, we provide people + communities with an equal opportunity in a safe and healthy environment - integral in creating sustainability, balancing economic, environmental + social equity.

 

Economic Health

With electricity, we are empowering people and communities to escape poverty by providing them with the tools to build a brighter future.

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Cultural Autonomy

Regardless geography, access to affordable electricity helps break barriers and unites people from all walks of life + all parts of the  world.

Our solar electric timeline.

 

Solar Electric is more than just a solar installer – we love solar and we are passionate about what we do.  Since the day we started Solar Electric over 20 years ago, we wanted to make sure that everything was done right and done with purpose.

 

Established in 1987, one of the country’s original solar electric providers, Solar Electric provides complete sustainable living solutions by integrating the best alternative energy products and services  for each of our customer’s unique grid-tie, stand-alone, and hybrid applications.

A "Short" History of Sun Solar

1987  Solar Electric opens its doors in the heart of San Diego and we sell our first solar module under the passionate direction of Michael Collins. Located in Harbor Island, we begin selling and installing stand-alone (battery back-up) systems to boat and RV owners from all over the world, establishing us as the battery experts.

1987  Our product line includes Arco solar modules, Specialty Concepts's Mark VI charge controller and HelioTrope power inverters.

1987  We design and install our first cabin system in Baja California, Mexico—quickly establishing our expertise in Baja solar power systems and the harsh and unique conditions that characterize these systems. Today, our systems can proudly be found in entire communities up and down Baja Sur.

1988  Solar Electric’s CREG charge controller is developed and brought to market, the first of four generations of controllers over the next decade.

1989  We outgrow our Harbor Island location and move into a new - larger - location off Morena Boulevard in San Diego. The move allows us to expand our solar showroom, one of the few solar stores in the country, and increase manufacturing and product development capabilities.

1990  One of the country’s largest Earth Day celebrations gets solar power provided by Solar Electric. Held in San Diego’s historic Balboa Park and produced by EarthWorks, the fair attracts an average 50,000 people with hundreds of exhibits and live performances--many requiring electricity which the park does not have. 1990 is the beginning of a long tradition of supporting the Earth Day Celebration and providing event power.

1991  We proudly add UniSolar’s groundbreaking line of solar modules to our product offerings.

1992  Again, we outgrow our Morena Blvd. location and we move to our Santa Fe Street location in San Diego where we remain for the next 15 years. In addition to a 2000 sq. ft. solar showroom and larger manufacturing capacity, the freeway exposure from Interstate 5 not only helps us grow, but allows us to better serve our customers including a growing number of Baja residents.

1993  Solar Electric SELLS ITS 19,000th SOLAR ELECTRIC SYSTEM! We now design, sell and install systems for customers all the world including the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Bahama’s Europe, Australia and parts of South America and Asia. A very short list of customers includes: US Border Patrol, San Diego Port Authority, Los Angles Power and Water District, United States Navy, Grainger, GrayBar, Mexican National Government, and EMCOR.

1993  Integration continues on the Torrey Pines Glider Port in San Diego. The stand-alone system provides power to the café, store and offices.

1994  SolarElectricInc.com makes its debut on the world wide web, one of the first solar companies and online stores of its kind.

1997  We install one of the first building integrated photo voltaic (BIPV) residential solar systems in Southern California. This residential 4KW interactive grid-tie with battery back-up system features UniSolar roof shingles and a Xantrex SW Series power inverter. One more interesting fact about this system that makes it so unique is that it was installed before the introduction of any state or federal rebate or incentive program. This Encinitas, CA system is regularly featured in regional and National Solar Home Tours.

1998 California re-introduces rebates for small solar energy systems. This program launched the residential interactive grid-tie market in California. Our wholesale sales dollars triple just months after the introduction of the program and our nationwide dealer and professional installer network doubles. The last rebate program in the state expired at the end of 1985. After the success of this program, many states over the next few years introduce their own rebate and incentive programs including Colorado, Hawaii, and others.

1999  The onset of Y2K marks one of the busiest years up to that point in Solar Electric’s history. People were in a solar frenzy during that December!

2000  In keeping with our long standing tradition of training electricians and end-users how to use and install solar systems, we train California Building Inspectors how to inspect interactive grid-tie and battery based solar systems.

2002We design and install our first 35KW commercial solar electric system in Southern California thanks to the 2001 expansion of the state’s rebate program for larger systems—over 30KW. The growth of commercial systems does not “take off” for a few years when the Department of Energy launches tax incentives making commercial solar installations more affordable.

2005  Our founder, Mike Collins, passes away. A true solar pioneer, Mike is missed. His objective was to make solar as inexpensive as possible so more people would have access to solar. Damian Gutierrez, a true solar pioneer in his own right, and Mike’s partner, takes over the reigns of the Solar Electric.

2005  Sun Solar is created and focuses on system design, integration, installations and project development and consulting for new systems around the world. Solar Electric continues to focus on worldwide sales and distribution of solar and alternative energy systems and components.

2006  Sun Solar spearheads the system design, integration and installation of Mexico’s FIRST interactive grid-tie system. The pilot program in MexiCali, Mexico was for URBI, Mexico’s third largest residential developer and was sponsored by both the Mexican and Canadian Government. Each of the homes featured a Xantrex GT Series power inverter and PhotoWatt Matrix solar modules.

2006  ICP Solar, a solar module manufacturer asks Solar Electric to help develop a new BIPV S tile for S tile roofs. The original S tile is designed for Spain’s quickly growing PV market and is then modified for the United States market and other parts of the world where Spanish Tile roofs are popular. The tile is also later modified to accommodate slate and other tile roofs.

2006  Solar Electric launches its own line of solar modules interactive grid-tie and stand-alone solar modules and charge controllers as more and more manufacturers discontinue low voltage solar modules. Not only do the modules meet market demands, but they are introduced at price points that continue to allow us to keep solar affordable without compromising on quality.

2006  Solar Electric helps WesPower design the GreenMeter, a function rich meter designed for stand-alone and hybrid solar systems.

2006  Under the Coleman brand name, Solar Electric designs solar battery charger systems for major retailers including CostCo.

2008  Solar Electric designs stand-alone solar power systems for emergency housing to be used after natural disasters for the United States Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). Our unique combination of nationwide distribution, installation and design capabilities make the relationship between Solar Electric and the home builder is attractive to FEMA.

That’s why we do everything in-house and only hire and train the best in the business.

 

In-house Capabilities

one team, one number to call

We take care of every aspect of your project ourselves including financing, design, permits and installation.

That means that you'll only have one team and one number to call if you have any questions before, during or after your solar power installation.

24/7 System Monitoring

Power generation and Usage

Our customers love seeing how much energy their system generates and how much energy they’re using.

Not only does our monitoring solution helps ensure your system is running smoothly, it will even alert us if problems arise.

 

System Up-time

Worry-free energy

Solar power systems are very reliable, but we’ll take care of any repairs at no added cost if anything does happen.

Unmatched Experience

hands-on for over 20 years

We do it all - from 2-story, steep sloped roofs, to flat or Spanish tiles, to home energy power storage for emergency back-up power, to solar pool heating, to car ports and awnings, to ground-mount systems, our experience is unrivaled.

Solar Discovery Foundation

 

helping people discover free power from the sun.

 

Our passion and our love is solar electricity. We are so passionate about solar that we have a long history helping spread the benefits and advantages of solar.


More than just making solar affordable, over the past 15 years, we have put the power of the sun in the hands of thousands of people. In this spirit, we proudly continue the work of spreading solar usage in memory of our dear friend.

 
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mission of Solar discovery

To promote the use of solar electricity and alternative energies worldwide through incentives for year-round developmental opportunities. Opportunities that
educate youth about the uses and benefits of solar electricity and career opportunities while encouraging the advancement of new technology development.

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areas of focus

We focus on the following areas of discovery and learning:

  • Positive learning opportunities
  • Technology Advancement
  • Energy choices
  • Energy conscious living

get involved

We provide learning opportunities at schools, for scout troops and other groups by providing
lectures, materials, expertise, and design and installation assistance. Our hands-on workshops on renewable energy and sustainable living practices attract students from all over the United States and abroad and are taught by professionals in the field.

We depend upon your support! Often times, we do not charge or we substantially subsidize our learning opportunities. We depend upon our supporters to help make these opportunities more available so that we can promote sustainable living through inspirational environmental education.
Without the strong support of people like you, we would not be able to help people discover free power from the sun.
 

    If you are interested in helping spread the use and understanding of solar and alternative energy by making a donation, please submit the following form.
     

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    Receiving Help from the Solar Discovery Foundation.


    Solar is our passion. We want solar to be your passion too. Because we try to provide the best learning tools for your group at a greatly reduced or no cost to you, we ask that you follow these simple guidelines.

    • Send a request for participation using the following form.
    • Acknowledge foundation sponsorship during event.
    • Provide Solar Electric with pictures of event to be used for foundation promotions - by posting to our Facebook and/or Instagram page.
       
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